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There are many creative and practical ways to recycle old items at home.

Your home may actually be a treasure trove full of things you can reuse, recycle or repurpose. You can change the way you view things. You’ll see everyday objects differently.

How to Recycle Your Home

These are the household products most cities include in their recycling program. If you don’t have a curbside pick-up, you can search your nearest recycle center via Google911.

  • Paper, cards, junk mail, magazines, newspaper
  • Brown paper bags and shoe boxes
  • As long as the paper products are not embellished with glitter or other metallic elements, they will be accepted.
  • Shredded paper
  • Egg cartons – paper, cardboard, or plastic
  • Cardboard boxes flattened and broken into manageable sizes
  • Aluminum cans/steel cans
  • Plastic and glass bottles
  • Plastic and glass jars
  • Yogurt containers
  • Aerosol cans
  • Clean foil

Going green is all about reducing. Reduce your consumption, and you will have less material to recycle.

10 Things You can Recycle or Repurpose at Your Home

These are 10 everyday items that you can give new life to and are perfect for recycling at home.

1. Plastic water bottles.

Use water filters to reduce your water bottle usage. A reusable water container is handy for drinking water while on the move.

  • To offset excessive water flow, if you don’t own a low-flow toilet, you can add plastic water to your tank.
  • Take the bottoms off water bottles and place seedlings inside.
  • Pinterest has many bottle craft ideas.
  • You can recycle plastic water bottles that you use but do not contribute to the single-use plastic waste problem.

2. Plastic bags.

Refuse plastic bags wherever possible, just as you are trying to reduce your plastic consumption. It’s easy to bring your own bag to the farmer’s market and grocery store.

Sometimes, however, you end up with plastic bags. For example, if your local newspaper gives away a trial or sets of sale ads in a bag. You can recycle them at home or reuse them.

  • Instead of using plastic bin liners, line your wastebaskets.
  • To prevent dirt and flakes from dried paint from falling into the liquid, place a plastic bag on top of the paint can lid.
  • You can use them to protect fragile items during storage or shipping.
  • You can recycle them at the supermarkets or at certain curbsides.
  • You can find recycled plastic bag craft ideas at Pinterest.

3.  Aluminium Foil.

There are some risks associated with using aluminum foil to store food. There are many ways to reuse aluminum foil.

  • Reflector: Use foil to cover plants in shade so that they reflect the sun.
  • Use an aluminum foil folding machine to fold used aluminum foil up to six layers thick. Cut through foil multiple times to sharpen knives or scissors.
  • Use foil to line a small dish for jewelry cleaner. Mix hot water with one tablespoon of powder laundry detergent. Mix the mixture well and then swirl your jewelry around for about 1-2 minutes.
  • To remove static cling and wrinkles, make a dryer ball from foil.

4. Televisions from the past.

Our editor loves to tell you how she has never owned more than two televisions in her house. Her husband is proud of the number of times he has repaired their 10-year-old television. As tempting as it may be to upgrade, TVs can contain harmful chemicals up to 8 lbs of lead and other heavy Metals .

Televisions are not usually accepted by Goodwill or other donation shops. We have actually seen a couple load their set into the dumpster at the drop-off area.

  • Before you throw away your TV, fix it. You can search YouTube for the problem and find the answer.
  • Best Buy recycles television sets. For more information on electronics recycling, call or visit their website.
  • can help you find recycling facilities near you.

5. CDs, DVDs and VHS Tapes.

Are you ready to finally convert all your old home movies to digital? Check with your local recycling center if you are ready to get rid of old media items. This is the easiest way to recycle at home. Here are some other ways you can make sure they don’t end up in the landfill.

  • Use CDs to create a creative scarecrow. Reflected light will help keep birds away and other day-to-day critters from your garden. It can also be used to keep crows away from your pet’s food if it is an outdoor pet.
  • You can recycle them at your local arts and craft center. They will use them to make gift bags or drop spindles for wool spinning.
  • Make a collage with reflective CDs to decorate your ceiling or wall.
  • Instead of using plastic rope, you can use old VHS tape instead to bond posts in your garden.

6. Wine corks.

Are you a collector of wine corks? These corks are just waiting for you to make something out of them.

  • Create amazing art.
  • To make notice board trivets, cut wine corks.
  • Decorate your fridge using cork magnetics.
  • These can be used to cork bottles with homemade oils, sauces, or preserves.
  • Pot risers can be as low as a dollar per piece. These pot risers are designed to help drain the pots and prevent them from staining your deck or patio. Wine corks are also available for free.

7. Old cell phones & devices.

Electronic devices have grown exponentially since the original publication of this article. We needed an entire article about how to reduce your e-waste.

  • Earth 911 explains how to recycle your cell phone in your local area.
  • You can sell it on eBay if it is still in demand.
  • Get rid of your old phone and get a new case. Give it away or give it to someone in need.
  • Disassemble the phone. You can recycle the battery and other parts at a computer or electronic recycler unit.
  • When you upgrade to a new smartphone, make sure you use the Take Back program offered by the manufacturer.

8. Junk Mail & Envelopes.

  • You can reuse your reply envelopes if they are in good condition to send your mail. You can cover any logos and return addresses with your return address labels.
  • You can keep used envelopes handy to store your garden seeds. Or, tape them to the bottom of drills to capture dust.
  • You can either shred the envelopes to make organic mulch for your garden, or to fill pillowscases to keep your pets warm during winter.
  • Make sure you recycle any paper that you don’t intend to repurpose.

9. Old Trophies.

Are you ready to part ways with your old trophies and medals? Send your old trophies, medals, and plaques to Lamb Awards & Engraving. They will either donate them to charity or reuse them for new awards.

10. Miscellaneous Items.

  • Hair elastics can be used to bind creepers and support poles in your garden.
  • Make old clothes or jeans into bags. Aprons, skirts and patchwork quilts are all possible.
  • For cleaning small, difficult-to-reach areas, save old toothbrushes and mascara brushes. You can also donate them to Wands for Wildlife for grooming animals.
  • Donate your torn jeans at your local household waste disposal site. The cotton from the jeans can be recycled for industrial purposes.
  • Are you thinking of re-doing your floors. The Carpet America Recovery Effort offers solutions for recycling carpet.
  • Send in your worn out flip flops for a coupon to Old Navy.
  • Many types of equipment can be recycled by office supply and electronics stores. To learn more about any of the collection programs, visit TerraCycle.
  • Recycle old cartridges from your printer at Office Depot or Staples.
  • Make your old eyeglass case a sewing machine.
  • Don’t toss out old crayons that are too small or damaged to use. Give them a second life by donating them to the Crayon Recycling Program. The national initiative will collect old crayons and make Crazy Crayons out of them. These are crayons that have been melted into fun shapes or swirled colors and can be ordered for your children.
  • You should be careful about recycling CFL light bulbs at home. CFL bulbs are not recyclable because they contain mercury. You can dispose of them safely at IKEA or Home Depot. You can also drop them off at any Home Depot or IKEA store if you are not near one. Your local recycling service should be happy to give you information (or list it on their website) about where you can find hazardous waste facilities.
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Jane S. King

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